In deciding on its final mandate on the Traditional Courts Bill [B1-2017], the WCPP elected not to support the Bill. The Committee recommends, in accordance with its Standing Rule 217, that the NCOP confers the authority to not support the Traditional Courts Bill on its Western Cape delegate. The Committee’s Report on this matter will be given to the Western Cape delegate to be considered as part of its mandate. The minority view in the Committee was in favour of supporting the Bill.
The Committee adopted its minutes of 2 September and 21 October 2020 and its quarterly report (July – September 2020).
The Chairperson opened the virtual meeting by welcoming Members to the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was for the Committee to adopt its draft Report on the final mandate on the Traditional Courts Bill [B1D-2017].
WCPP Final Mandate: Traditional Courts Bill
The Chairperson tabled the D-version of the Traditional Courts Bill to the Committee, which is a Section 76 Bill. The B version was initially referred to the Committee after negotiations and amendments by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The Committee now had to report on the D version of the Bill. For the final mandate stage, the legislature must indicate whether it is in favour of or against the Traditional Courts Bill or whether it abstains from casting its vote in this regard. The politics of the Traditional Courts Bill are no longer being negotiated. It has now come to a vote regarding whether the Bill should be passed into law. The Committee has had previous meetings and public hearings on the Bill. He asked whether Members have any further input regarding the Bill.
Mr R Allen (DA) proposed that based on previous submissions made, the Committee should not support the Traditional Courts Bill. Similar concerns were raised from other provincial legislatures as was raised to the Committee during the public hearings. The Committee cannot in good conscience support the passing of the Bill.
The Chairperson asked Members whether there is any dissenting view from Mr Allen’s concerns.
There were no dissenting opinions, and the Chairperson accepted Mr Allen’s position.
The WCPP final mandate not to support the Traditional Courts Bill will now be sent to the NCOP.
Mr C Dugmore (ANC) was happy with the process and the attempts from government to accommodate the various proposals made regarding the Traditional Courts Bill. He supported the Bill as currently amended and tabled before the Committee. South Africa needs this piece of legislation and a continued unfulfilled need for it can lead to the potential for abuse by traditional courts which are currently in operation.
Ms D Baartman (DA) seconded the position as put forward by Mr Allen.
The Chairperson said that since the initial stages of the Traditional Courts Bill, there have been considerable changes made and constitutional matters raised. He stated his content that concerns raised from other provinces included provinces that have a substantial number of traditional leaders. There has been a recommendation by Mr Allen for the Committee not to support the passing of the Traditional Courts Bill as it is currently amended, which has been seconded by Ms Baartman. He noted the minority view of Mr Dugmore. He concluded that the Committee does not support the amended Traditional Courts Bill. The Committee recommends, in accordance with its Standing Rule 217, that the NCOP confers the authority to not support the Traditional Courts Bill on its Western Cape delegate. The Committee’s Report on this matter will be given to the Western Cape delegate to be considered as part of its mandate.
Consideration and adoption of Committee minutes
Mr Dugmore did not support the adoption of the minutes for the meeting on 21 October 2020 and stated that he was in the process of writing to the Chairperson to request a joint meeting between the Committee and the Standing Committee on Education.
The Committee adopted the minutes for its previous meetings on 2 September and 21 October 2020.
Draft Committee Quarterly Report (July – September 2020)
The Committee Procedural Officer said the draft Report is complete, all minutes of the Committee’s meetings have been adopted, and the financial information at the bottom of the Report will be sent to Members.
Other Committee Business
The Chairperson informed the Committee that there will be a hybrid Committee meeting on 24 November 2020 regarding the Economic Recovery Plan for the Western Cape. Mr Alan Winde, the Premier of the Western Cape, will attend that meeting in person alongside other Members who are able to attend.
The Procedural Officer asked Members to indicate beforehand whether they will be attending that meeting in person or via online platforms.
The meeting was adjourned
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